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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16179
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My little haired daushand has developed black spots on her

Customer Question

My little long haired daushand has developed black spots on her belly and along the side of her leg What could this be?
Thanks so much for your support?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she had these spots?

Are they raised or just discoloration of the skin?

Any itching/scratching in these areas?

Are you seeing any other changes to the skin (ie pimples, pustules, scabs, sores, ulcers, redness, dander, or crusting)?

Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, it will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She has had them for 3 months. Started out with only one or two but now they have spread in clusters. I think they make her itch. No fleas. I thought it might be dermatitis but now not sure. They are mainly on her stomach and under legs. I will send you a picture
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you,

If you could post a photo, that would be great .

I will keep my eyes peeled,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
We are trying to send you a picture but it is a very slow process. The black areas look crusty and we keep her clean but they will not go away. We will keep trying to send the pictures. I have an I-phone.... is there an easier way to send the picture?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Trying to send photo but website times out won't send I will continue to try
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Please see attached
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
We are trying to send you a picture but it is a very slow process. The black areas look crusty and we keep her clean but they will not go away. We will keep trying to send the pictures. I have an I-phone.... is there an easier way to send the picture? The picture has now been sent.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you,

Let me review your photo/messages and I will post shortly.

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you,

Based on your photos, these black areas of discoloration actually look like hyperpigmentation. This is not the main problem and actually a side effect. This is a phenomena that arises when skin is chronically irritated. (It is similar to the way our skin darkens when 'irritated' by the sun too much). So, when we see this it is just a sign of an ongoing skin issue and in this case will be what is causing the crusting here.

Now in regards ***** ***** can cause irritative skin disease, there is a wide range of potential causes we must consider. Specifically, we'd have to consider allergic skin disease (ie food allergy, flea allergy, contact allergies something this poorly haired region is in contact with etc), fungal infection, mite infestation (less likely), and bacterial pyoderma.
In regards ***** ***** approach, it is often a case of trying to rule out causes to determine the trigger and settle the irritation for her. To start, if she is terribly itchy and we wanted to rule out parasites (mites, lice, fleas), you can consider using a multi-parasite treatment like Advantage Multi/ Advocate, Stronghold or Revolution from her vet.

To address potential allergies, you can try treating with an anti-histamine. Provided she doens't have any ongoing health issues or is on any other medication, in these cases we can use OTC Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/diphenhydramine-benadryl). A low dose (ie. 0.5-2 mg per pound of their body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation. We like to keep the dose low, as it can cause drowsiness (just like people).
While tackling these differentials and since we had crusting lesions, we do want to also keep this area clean if we have a bacterial infection here. To do so, consider bathing the area in a mild antiseptic. Examples would be chlorohexidine (dilute) or even salt water (1tbsp per pint warm water). This should be done a few times a day, and dried thoroughly. Alternatively and since we cannot rule out fungal agents, we could also speak to the vet about using an antibacterial shampoo called Malaseb. You can get the extra strength version from your vet or you can get the regular strength online (ie Amazon)

Overall, the black discoloration you are seeing is a side effect of her what is triggering the crusting. Therefore, we can try ruling out causes in a step-by-step manner. So, do use the above while also removing any access to allergens (ie carpet powders, laundry soaps, etc). Otherwise, consider treating for fleas/mites now, address her irritation/itchiness with an antihistamine, and keep the skin clean and clear of infection. If you do this and she doesn't appear to be settling, then we'd have to consider allergy testing or have her vet test +/- biopsy an area to analyse the skin and pinpoint the cause for her.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
If it were mites or fleas, our 3 other dashy's would possibly have it too, correct?. Could it possibly be triggered by her nerves as it gets better from time to time. As you said, maybe its the detergent I wash their bedding in and/or the fabric softener.thanks for your help. we do appreciate it kindly. I just know she itches quite often.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hi again,

Now as I noted before, the parasites (mites and others) are less likely here but cannot be fully excluded. The reason I cannot totally exclude them for her is because some dogs end up with clinical signs (while others do not) because of the their being allergic to the parasite bite. So, it is possible to see just one dog affected. So, it is worth ruling out since its economical to do so and would make sure it wasn't playing even a partial role.

Otherwise, nerves don't usually cause such a pattern of signs (they tend to make dogs overgroom areas until they are bald). So that isn't likely. But if their bedding is being washed with soap or fabric softener, this could certainly be our trigger for her signs (and could be worse just after a wash but lessen over time as the detergents fades ). So, do use the above again to rule out as much as possible and help counter her itch; but do also try washing her betting with water alone to see if we can soothe these signs for her.

All the best,

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

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